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This unique downtown loop on the banks of the Willamette River offers some of Portland’s best city views and is a must-see for visitors. The paved route consists of a path through Waterfront Park on the west side and the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade on the other side. The Steel Bridge is the north connection across the river, with the Hawthorne Bridge at the south end.

The west side meanders past the Salmon Street Springs, beelines through the riverside park and even bisects the site of the thriving Saturday Market (actually, it’s open on Sundays, too). The east side is a clever combination of floating sections, ramps and concrete pathway. From this side you can enjoy spectacular water-level views of downtown.

On the map shown here, the starting point is the end of SE Salmon Street, a convenient place to access this loop – but there are countless other places to connect. Because this route doesn’t follow actual streets, the mapping software won’t show it – but you can, easily, by paying attention to signs and general direction.

The adventurous can extend this ride in a couple ways. On the east side, instead of taking the ramp up to the Hawthorne Bridge, you can continue south past the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (slow down here!) and connect to the Springwater Corridor, which parallels the river for several miles before turning east and heading 20+ miles out toward Mt. Hood.

On the west, you can also head south from the Hawthorne Bridge. With some navigating savvy, you can make your way via paths and streets to the South Waterfront, where you can actually put your bike on a tram car and head up the hill for some downhill fun back to the river.

Note: This is a heavily used path, for all kinds of locomotion. Don’t expect to go fast, and please be considerate of everyone around you.

More Info:

What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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A related Trip Idea

  1. Celebrating the Portland Saturday Market

    written by Tony Thomas on March 8th, 2012

    The 39th season of the Portland Saturday Market took place the weekend of March 3rd and I was on hand to take in every sight, sound, and smell. A ton of other Portlanders (reportedly 20,000) joined me for the lovely weather and the festivities. The…

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